Sources for Stem Cells: Background information when reading The Laws of Gravity

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The Laws of Gravity

by Liz Rosenberg

The Laws of Gravity
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    May 2013, 298 pages
    May 2013, 298 pages

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Sources for Stem Cells

At the heart of The Laws of Gravity is cord blood - full of potentially life-saving cells. But what is it exactly?

Cord blood is the blood left in the umbilical cord and the placenta after a baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut. Typically, this blood is discarded along with the cord and placenta. Cord blood, though, is full of stem cells, which are highly flexible cells that have the potential to become any specialized cell in the body. Because of this they can be used to treat various illnesses and genetic disorders, such as the leukemia that Nicole has in The Laws of Gravity. According to the March of Dimes, over 70 diseases and disorders have been treated with stem cells from cord blood. However, as the March of Dimes also states, cord blood stem cells are primarily used for children who need stem cell transplants because umbilical cords only contain a small amount of blood, which means that each unit of blood collected may not have enough cells to treat adults, or even ...

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